The distant space glowed above us as the fire crackeled in front of our small group. We sat almost motionless as we gathered under the the glistening lights above us. The moon still lay hidden behind the horizon and one could get lost in the depth of the darkness that appeared from behind the tree tops. But one of us was captured by an unsatiable itch to explore the night in a greater depth. As I gazed up almost straining my neck to palyfully capture as much of the sky as possible in one spot. It happened in an almost unappologetic manner.
They began to call out to me in the depth of the calmness. As I grabbed my gear and headed to a path that led to the lake. The anticipation was released as she appeared before me. The Milky Way layed herself open in the southwest sky. I hurried to capture her beauty as it layed over the glassy water of the lake. Little did I know that she would be just the first of the treasures that would share themsslves with me on this night. I was easily captivated by the breathless beauty that surrounded me. I worked eagerly to capture all that I could; knowing that it was impossible to capture her full depth. The twinkling lights glimmered upon the glassy lake as I stood in awe of her.
But, another itch carressed my soul and I sped down the path to the northeast bay that was but a short jaunt from the spot that I stood upon. It was here that my second treasure of the night was opened before me. They glowed in their brilliance above the bay. I stood stary eyed in a beggar’s paradise while the horizon filled the skyline before me. The Milky Way’s nothern cousins had come to play. The brillinat hues of the Northern Lights were in full display as they danced their way across the horizon.
I looked into the treasure chest one last time as the distant reflective orb subdued the darkness. It effortlessly rose into the night’s beauty and slid higher into the horizon, the yellow embers flared out across the calm lake. And she slowly encompassed the glory of the distant stars as she reflected the glow of another’s radiance. It was over the tree line on the opposite shore that she rose into the night’s sky and the colors of the day began to reflect on the calm water. So I slid around the small point and a new beauty arose.
The dock pointed out like a finger in the night. It pointed northeast into the bay as it gave way to the distant shoreline that flickered with campfires that seemed to disappear into the hillside. The lake reflected her beauty in ways one would normaly see only in the day.
I stood as one of nature’s beggars in a quiet awe of the gifts that the King had opened on a mid August night. The abundance of opportunity swept through me like a gentle tonic infusing me with an undescribable energy. One that ran through me and yet calmed my soul in the tranquil surroundings. I could only drink in so much of the glory as I stood silent with a grateful heart after I witnessed such splendor.
As I made my way back to the campsite I took in some of the local scavenging committees. Three raccoons stood peering at me from the wood line. As I flashed their eyes with my headlamp, they slowly stood up and then scampered to the next spot to see if the light could find them. The game of hide and seek ended after the marauders slid into the forest for the night.
Afterward I strolled back into camp still energized by my evening activities. My companions sat engaged around a campfire. They were slowly drifting off in the early hours of the morning. They sat quietly as I recounted all that I had been gifted that night in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. With its many pristine lakes this country sits among a campers dreamland amidst the Wisconsin State Parks that reach back into the miles of roads that seem to loose themselves in the wildlife that awaits travelers and campers in northern Wisconsin. So grab your gear and a camera for a trip into the wildlife. And remember to always “shoot the world with light.” Come see other treasures that I have found at http://www.paulpaschkephotography.com.